As you might very well have figured out, the flu season is in full swing. While this is not a major reason for concern, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned that if unmedicated, this condition can have dire consequences, a fact confirmed by the strange case of a UK man who managed to rupture his throat after holding in a sneeze.
Can Holding in a Sneeze Be Dangerous?
Perhaps there’s nothing more annoying than that tickling sensation you get behind your nostrils before letting out a sneeze. We do our best to hold it in, cover out noses, use a piece of tissue, literally anything to let those little germs loose. But what happens when you try so hard to keep yourself from sneezing that you resort to covering both nostrils and mouth?
A UK man had the misfortune of landing in the emergency room of the Leicester Royal Infirmary, shortly after he tried to put the lid on a sneeze. The man, who did not wish to disclose his identity, told the doctors, that a couple of days ago, he felt the urge to sneeze and prevent it by covering both nostrils and his mouth.
However, shortly after, the man experienced some unusual symptoms: difficulty swallowing, throat pain, audible voice change, and a little crackling sound every time he tried to swallow something.
The 34-year-old UK man went straight to the emergency room, where the doctors X-Rayed his throat to see what’s room. When the film came in, the doctors discovered that the man suffered from a condition called subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum.
According to the doctors, by covering his nostrils and mouth, the little bubbles of air that would normally be released through the nasal passages, got stuck in the soft tissue of his throat. Basically, the man ruptured his throat while trying to suppress a sneeze.
After a week spent in the hospital, the man was released and received a clean bill of health.
Image source: Wikipedia